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You’re invited to explore Cave Canem’s Poets Tour!

The Poets Tour provides opportunities to bring one or more of over 70 accomplished Black poets to your community or campus. Your participation has the added benefit of supporting Cave Canem, the nation’s hub for Black poetry.

Interested? Submit your inquiry.

Poets Tour Profiles

Awkward-Rich, Cameron

Cameron Awkward-Rich

Cameron Awkward-Rich is a trans/queer poet and scholar whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vinyl, cream city review, The Journal, The Seattle Review and elsewhere. Cam is a Poetry Reader for Muzzle Magazine, has been on multiple National Poetry Slam teams, and holds a BA in Creative Writing from Wesleyan University. Currently a…

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Bashir, Samiya

Samiya Bashir

Samiya Bashir is the author of Field Theories (Nightboat Books, 2017), and Gospel (2009) and Where the Apple Falls (2005), which were both Lambda Literary Award finalists. Her poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications most recently including Poetry, World Literature Today, Ecotone, HOAX, The Offing, and Poet Lore among others. Bashir is a founding organizer of…

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Bingham-Risher, Remica

Remica Bingham-Risher

Remica Bingham-Risher earned an MFA from Bennington College and is a member of the Affrilachian Poets. Her first book, Conversion (Lotus, 2006), won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. Her second book, What We Ask of Flesh (Etruscan, 2013), was shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She is the Director of Writing and Faculty Development…

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Brown, Derrick Weston

Derrick Weston Brown

Derrick Weston Brown holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University. He was the founding Poet-In-Residence at Busboys and Poets and has taught creative writing and poetry at all levels of education. His poetry has been featured in such publications as The Washington Post, The New Orleans Times-Picayune and Colorlines. His work has also…

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brown, drea

drea brown

Originally from St.Louis, drea brown is currently a PhD candidate in African and African Diaspora Studies at UT Austin. her work has appeared in a variety of literary journals most recently Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander and Southern Indiana Review. drea is also the winner of the 2014 Gold Line Press poetry chapbook competition judged by…

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Brown, Jericho

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts.   His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry.  His first book, Please, won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf…

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Burgess, Gloria

Gloria Burgess

Gloria Burgess’ poetry celebrates the evocative oral traditions of her African, Native American, and Scotch-Irish ancestry. Her poetry appears in diverse anthologies and publications, including Fire on Her Tongue, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South and Gathering Ground. Gloria works at the nexus of the arts and leadership. A poet, actor, director, and leadership…

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Burroughs, CM

CM Burroughs

CM Burroughs is Assistant Professor of Poetry at Columbia College Chicago. Her first book is The Vital System, published by Tupelo Press in 2012. Burroughs has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Callaloo Writers Workshop, and the University of Pittsburgh. She has received commissions…

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Carter-Jones, Sheila

Sheila Carter-Jones

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Caudell, Robin

Robin Caudell

Robin Caudell is an AP award-winning journalist and videographer. She has been a Staff Writer at the Press-Republican since 1990. An Eastern Shore native and U.S. Air Force Cold War veteran, she holds a BS in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in…

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Charleston, Cortney Lamar

Cortney Charleston

Cortney Lamar Charleston’s debut full-length poetry collection, Telepathologies, was selected by D.A. Powell for the 2016 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize and released in March 2017. He was awarded a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation as well as fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation Literary Festival and the New Jersey State Council on…

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Christian, Adrienne

Adrienne Christian

Adrienne Christian earned her BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University. She is the author of the poetry book A Proper Lover (Main Street Rag, 2017), and 12023 Woodmont Avenue (Willow Books, 2013). Her poems have been featured, or are forthcoming, in The L.A. Review, Prairie Schooner, frogpond, Obsidian, Alimentum, The Criterion,…

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Colón, Kristiana Rae

Kristiana Rae Colón

Kristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, and co-director of the #LetUsBreathe Collective.  Her play, but i cd only whisper, had its American premiere at The Flea in New York. Her play Octagon, winner of Arizona Theater Company’s 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award and Polarity Ensemble Theater’s Dionysos Festival of New Work, had its world…

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Cross Davis, Teri

Teri Cross Davis

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint, (Gival Press, 2016) winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She has attended the Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is on the Advisory Council of Split This Rock (a biennial…

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Davis, Geffrey

Geffrey Davis

Geffrey Davis is the author of Revising the Storm (BOA Editions 2014), winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist. Other honors include the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and multiple nominations…

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Decaul, Maurice

Maurice Decaul

Maurice Emerson Decaul, a former Marine, is a poet, essayist and playwright whose writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Sierra Magazine, Epiphany, Callaloo, Narrative, The Common and elsewhere. His poems have been translated into French and Arabic. His theatre pieces have been produced at New York City’s Harlem Stage;…

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Dustin Pearson

Dustin Pearson

Dustin Pearson is the author of Millennial Roost (Eyewear Publishing, 2018). He is a McKnight Doctoral Fellow in Creative Writing at Florida State University. The recipient of a global fellowship from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Pearson has served as the editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review and a Director of the Clemson…

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Easter, Mary Moore

Mary Easter

Pushcart Prize-nominated poet Mary Moore Easter’s work has been published in, among other journals, Poetry, Seattle Review, Water Stone, Calyx, Pluck!, Persimmon Tree and Fjord’s Review, and in the anthology Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (2015). Her chapbook Walking from Origins was published by Heywood Press in 1993. She holds a B.A. from…

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El-Scari, Natasha

Natasha El-Scari

Natasha Ria El-Scari is a writer, Cave Canem fellow, 2016 Ragdale Residency recipient and educator for over a decade. Her poetry, academic papers, and personal essays have been published in anthologies, literary and online journals.  She has opened for and introduced many great writers, singers and activists, and has been featured at a host of…

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Elhillo, Safia

Safia Elhillo

A Pushcart Prize nominee, Safia Elhillo is Sudanese by way of Washington, DC. A Cave Canem fellow who received an MFA in poetry from The New School, her debut The January Childern (University of Nebraska Press, 2017) is praised by Kwame Dawes as “The first sound of what will be a remarkable noise in African poetry.” Recipient of the…

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Elliott, Chiyuma

Chiyuma Elliott

Chiyuma Elliott is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. A former Stegner Fellow, Chiyuma’s poems have appeared in the African American Review, Callaloo, the Notre Dame Review, the PN Review, and other journals. She has received fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the James Irvine Foundation, and the…

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Extra, Naomi

Naomi Extra

Naomi Extra is a freelance writer, poet, educator, and doctoral student in American Studies at Rutgers University- Newark. Naomi taught high school and worked as an adjunct professor for eight years before turning to scholarly work and creative writing full-time. Both her creative work and scholarship are centered on ways of imagining the corporeal realities…

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Harris, Alysia

Alysia Harris

Alysia Nicole Harris hails from Alexandria, Virginia. She received her MFA in poetry from NYU and is currently a PhD candidate in linguistics at Yale University. Alysia is the 2015 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence at the Taft Art Museum in Cincinnati. Her chapbook How Much We Must Have Looked Like Stars To Stars was chosen by Finishing…

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Hawkins, Shayla

Shayla Hawkins

Shayla Hawkins is a Detroit native, poet, and writer whose works have been in Calabash, The Caribbean Writer, The Taj Mahal Review, and Poets & Writers magazine, among other publications. Ms. Hawkins has been a featured reader at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and the Library of Congress, and received a fellowship to the…

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Holnes, Darrel Alejandro

Darrel Alejandro Holnes

Darrel Alejandro Holnes’ poetry has been published in or is forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, Best American Experimental Writing, American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, Day One, The Puritan Magazine, and elsewhere in print and online. He is the co-author of PRIME: Poetry & Conversations, a Rainbow List Selection…

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Jackson, Gary Allen

Gary Allen Jackson

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collection Missing You, Metropolis, which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Tin House, 32 Poems, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of both a Cave Canem and Bread Loaf fellowship, and…

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Janae, Brionne

Brionne Janae

Brionne Janae is a Southern California native who came to Boston to get an MFA at Emerson College. While in California, Brionne received her B.A. at U.C. Berkeley where she was a Student Teacher Poet in the Poetry for the People class/movement. As an STP Brionne had the privilege of teaching, learning and writing poetry…

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Johnson, Brandon D

Brandon Johnson

Brandon D. Johnson is author of Love’s Skin, Man Burns Ant, The Strangers Between, and co-author of The Black Rooster Social Inn: This Is The Place. He is published in several journals and anthologies, including Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade and The Listening Ear: Cave Canem Poets Look South. Born in…

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Johnson, Jacqueline

Jacqueline Johnson

A multi-discipline artist in poetry, fiction and fiber art, Jacqueline Johnson is the author of two collections of poetry, A Woman’s Season (2015) and A Gathering of Mother Tongues (1998), about which E. Ethelbert Miller wrote, “Jacqueline Johnson claims not only language but also the ground beneath her feet. She gives birth to herself and restores her own…

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Johnston, Amanda

Amanda Johnston

Amanda Johnston earned a MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine, and serves on the Cave Canem Foundation board of directors. Johnston is the author of a full length collection, Another Way to Say Enter (Argus House Press, 2017), and two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key. Her poetry and interviews have appeared…

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King, Alan

Alan King

Alan King is a Caribbean American, whose parents emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S. in the 1970s. He’s a husband, father, and communications professional who blogs about art and social issues at He’s the author of POINT BLANK (Silver Birch Press, 2016) and DRIFT (Willow Books, 2012). A Cave Canem graduate fellow, he holds…

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Laurentiis, Rickey

Rickey Laurentiis

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Manick, Cynthia

Cynthia Manick

Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs published by Black Lawrence Press. A Pushcart Prize nominated poet with a MFA in Creative Writing from the New School; she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Fine Arts Work Center, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, Hedgebrook, Poets…

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Maples, Kwoya Fagin

Kwoya Fagin Maples

Kwoya Fagin Maples is a writer from Charleston, S.C. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama, is a graduate Cave Canem Fellow and a Homeschool Lambda Literary Fellow. In addition to a chapbook publication by Finishing Line Press entitled Something of Yours (2010), her work is published in several journals and…

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Marshall, Nate

Nate Marshall

Nate Marshall is from the South Side of Chicago. His first book, Wild Hundreds (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. He is an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books, 2015). His rap album, Grown came out in 2015 with his group Daily…

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Marshell, Kyla

Kyla Marshell

Kyla Marshell’s poetry and prose have appeared in Blackbird, ESPNw Gawker, the Guardian, O, the Oprah Magazine, the Poetry Foundation, SPOOK Magazine, and elsewhere. Her work has earned her an Academy of American Poets College Prize, a Jacob K. Javits fellowship, two residencies to the Vermont Studio Center, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.…

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Mills, David

David Mills

David Mills has an MA from New York University. He has received Breadloaf, Henry James, ArtsLink, Brio and Pan-African Literary Forum fellowships; recorded his poetry on RCA records; performed a one-person show of the works of Langston Hughes; and been featured in the PBS documentary Slammin. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Ploughshares, jubilat, Fence,…

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Moody, Jonathan

Jonathan Moody

Jonathan Moody holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and a BS degree in Psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana. Author of The Doomy Poems (Six Gallery Press, 2012) and Olympic Butter Gold (Northwestern University Press, 2015), winner of the 2014 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, his poetry has appeared in such…

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Morris, Tracie

Tracie Morris

Tracie Morris is a poet who’s worked as a page-based writer, sound poet, critic, recording artist, scholar, bandleader, actor, artist consultant, vocal coach and multimedia performer. She presents her work widely around the world. Her sound installations have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ronald Feldman Gallery, The Silent…

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Nelson, Rachel

Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and who received her MFA from University of Michigan. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlas Review, Callaloo, Hartskill Review, Little Patuxent Review, Muzzle Magazine, pluck!, Smartish Pace, and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (Un. Georgia  Press, 2007). She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she’s facilitated a…

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Pollock, Iain

Iain Haley Pollock

Iain Haley Pollock’s second collection of poems, Ghost, Like a Place, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in September 2018. His debut collection, Spit Back a Boy, won the 2010 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Writing in Library Journal, critic Louis McKee said of the collection, “Pollock listens well, and his dance is all strut and stomp,…

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Roach, Breauna L.

Breauna Roach

Breauna L. Roach is a poet and teaching artist from Detroit, MI and a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Association’s Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Winter Tangerine Review, Vinyl, Callaloo, Obsidian Journal, and various other publications. She is a proud Alumna of Florida A & M University and has received fellowships from…

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Rollins, Alison C

Allison C Rollins

Alison C. Rollins, born and raised in St. Louis city, currently works as a Librarian for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the second prizewinner of the 2016 James H. Nash Poetry contest and a finalist for the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming…

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Russell, Lauren

Lauren Russell

Lauren Russell’s first full-length book, What’s Hanging on the Hush, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press in 2017. She is the author of the chapbook Dream-Clung, Gone (Brooklyn Arts Press), about which Joanna Fuhrman has said, “Lauren Russell’s poems remind us what authenticity might mean and be. Simultaneously raw and crafted, these poems bubble and boil…

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Samuels, Aaron

Aaron Samuels

Aaron Samuels is a Pushcart-nominated poet, a TEDx speaker, and an acclaimed facilitator of critical identity discussions. Raised in Providence, Rhode Island, by a Jewish-American mother and an African-American father, Aaron discovered spoken word poetry at age 14 when his English teacher told him he was not allowed to break meter. After declining this advice,…

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Samuels, Gwen

Gwen Samuels

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Sealey, Nicole

Nicole Sealey

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, forthcoming from Ecco in fall 2017, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial…

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Smith, Danez

Danez Smith

Danez Smith is a Black, queer, poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017). Danez is also the author of two chapbooks, hands on your knees (2013, Penmanship…

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Smith, Danez

Danez Smith

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Smith, John Warner

John Smith

A Pushcart Prize nominee, John Warner Smith began writing poetry while building a successful career as a local and state government administrator and a banker.  His debut collection, A Mandala of Hands (Aldrich Press, 2015) has been praised by Terrance Hayes as “a mature and magical new book.”  Tracy K. Smith has written, “John Warner…

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Springer, Christina

Christina Springer

Christina Springer is a text artist who uses poetry, dance, theatre, film and other visual expressions.  Her most recent performance piece “She Diva Died. & Come Again?, is a multi-media show exploring the challenges and joys raising of a Black man.  This production was made possible in part through a grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation’s…

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Swearingen-Steadwell, Laura

Laura Swearingen-Steadwell

Laura Swearingen-Steadwell, also known as Laura Yes Yes, has performed, led workshops, and lectured throughout North America. Her work has titillated and educated audiences of all kinds, notably when she placed as a finalist at 2010’s Women of the World Poetry Slam. Laura is also a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren…

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Thomas, Amber Flora

Amber Flora Thomas

Amber Flora Thomas is the author of two collections of poems: EYE OF WATER, selected by Harryette Mullen as the winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and THE RABBITS COULD SING, selected by Peggy Shumaker for the Alaska Literary Series in 2011. A recipient of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, Richard Peterson…

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Thornhill, Samantha

Samantha Thornhill

Samantha Thornhill is a Trinidadian-born poet, children’s author and educator.  She received her BA in English from Florida State University, where she began performing her work. After graduating with her MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia, Samantha relocated to New York City, where she spent a decade teaching poetry to actors at The Juilliard…

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Thrash, Venus

Venus Thrash

Venus Thrash, author of The Fateful Apple, which was longlisted for the PEN America Open Book Award, has had her poetry published in Beltway Quarterly, Split This Rock Quarry and The Arkansas Review. She was recently awarded a residency at The Vermont Studio Center.

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Tolbert, Anastacia Renee

Anastacia Tolbert

Anastacia Tolbert is a writer of poetry, prose, plays, and journalism. She is 2010 Hedgebrook Writer in Residence and the current Resident Writer and 8th grade teacher at the Seattle Girls School. In 2007, she wrote, co-produced and co-directed GOTBREAST? a documentary about women and body image, and wrote and produced the play, Not My Size. She received…

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Trimble, Jacqueline

Jacqueline Trimble

Jacqueline Allen Trimble, Ph.D., lives and writes in Montgomery, Alabama, where she is the chairperson of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University. Her work has appeared in The Offing, Blue Lake Review and The Griot. Her poetry collection, American Happiness, is published by NewSouth Books. The ironically titled book examines America’s refusal to grapple…

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White, Arisa

Arisa White

Arisa White’s debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, won the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Award and was nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award, the 82nd California Book Awards and the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards.  Her second full-length book of poems, A Penny Saved, was published by Virtual Artists Collective in 2012, and her chapbook, Post Pardon (2011), was adapted…

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White, Marvin K.

Marvin White

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Williams, Lorelei

Lorelei Williams

Lorelei’s work has been recognized through fellowships from the Breadloaf Young Writer’s Conference and the New York Foundation for the Arts.  She has performed throughout NYC and globally.  Lorelei’s writings have appeared in Essence Magazine, Meridians Journal on Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, and African Voices – and in the anthologiesBe the Dream (Algonquin Books); Beyond the Frontier:…

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Williams, Phillip B.

Phillip Williams

Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native. He is the author of the book of poems Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016). He’s also co-authored a book of poems and conversations called Prime (Sibling Rivalry Press). He is a Cave Canem graduate and received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a…

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Wilson, Bakar

Bakar Wilson

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Wilson, Keith

Keith Wilson

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet and graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. He has received three scholarships from Bread Loaf as well as scholarships from MacDowell, UCross, Millay Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center, among others. Keith serves as Assistant Poetry Editor at Four Way Review and Digital Media Editor at Obsidian…

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Wisher, Yolanda

Yolanda Wisher

Poet, bandleader and educator Yolanda Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro and co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song. Born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, she was raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where she was named the first Montgomery County Poet Laureate in 1999. A 2015 Pew Fellow and 2008 Leeway…

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